Gallagher is president of Patomak Global Partners, the regulatory consultancy Atkins founded in 2009. Through a Patomak spokeswoman, Atkins and Gallagher declined to comment.

Peirce served as a staff attorney and counsel to Atkins during the administration of President George W. Bush before becoming an aide to Senate Banking Committee chairman Richard Shelby, R-Alabama. She is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee have held up the nominations of Peirce and Lisa Fairfax to the SEC for not taking a position on a proposed requirement for corporations to disclose their political spending. Peirce, citing her pending nomination, declined to comment Monday.

During her April confirmation hearing, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, called attention to Peirce’s criticism of Dodd-Frank—including a book she edited, “Dodd-Frank: What it Does and Why It’s Flawed”—and questioned whether she would prove an effective watchdog. Warren noted that Peirce has dismissed Dodd-Frank mandates as “pointless” and argued that Congress “should perform major surgery” on the law.

“What you propose, as best I can tell from your writings, is less oversight of big banks, fewer efforts to rein them in, more chances to take big risks, boost their profits and, if things go wrong, come crying to the government for another bailout,” Warren said at the hearing. Warren added: “No one hires a watchdog who isn’t committed to enforcing the rules.”

Peirce sought to assure Warren that she made critical comments of Dodd-Frank as an academic researcher, not as a regulator charged with enforcing laws.

“I would work on implementing the rules as best as they could be implemented and point out where I thought there might be issues that Congress should look at again,” Peirce said at her confirmation hearing. “But until Congress looks at those again, the responsibility of the agency is to enforce the rules.”

The future of the CFTC

At the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Giancarlo, who’s served on the agency since 2014, is widely expected among practitioners to be a top contender to succeed chairman Timothy Massad. His five-year term is not set to expire until 2019.

Giancarlo has a law school connection to Atkins: He graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1984, a year behind Atkins. Atkins and Giancarlo spoke together at Vanderbilt last year on Dodd-Frank and its effect on financial regulation. Like Peirce and Gallagher, Giancarlo has been a critic of Dodd-Frank.

Giancarlo could not be reached for comment Monday.